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8 Tips for Testifying on the Witness Stand

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8 Tips for Testifying on the Witness Stand
Published
October 29, 2019
Author
Pinkston Law Group PC
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Trial can be a stressful process; it can become even more stressful if you are set to testify in front of a jury. If your attorney chooses to put you on the witness stand in front of a jury, it is because he or she wants the jury to know the facts of the case from your viewpoint. 

As your case advocate, your attorney will ask you questions during a phase called “direct examination,” asking open-ended questions and allowing you to tell your side of your story. After your attorney completes his or her questioning, the other side also gets a chance to question you. This happens during a phase called “cross-examination.” Because trial is an adversarial process – with different sides advocating for their version of the facts – cross-examination can and does get intense at times, with the opposing side often attempting to distort the facts in their favor or attack your credibility.

While your attorney is present during cross-examination and can make objections if opposing counsel crosses the line, it is advisable to prepare yourself as best as possible for the stress that can come with taking the witness stand. Here are some pointers to help you on the witness stand for both direct and cross-examination.

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